In today’s global bulletin, U.K. union Bectu calls for a group to curb racism; Amazon Prime Video buys AMC’s “Soulmates;” biopic on Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand greenlit; gameshow “Family Fortune” renewed for another season; and TF1 gets record numbers for gameshow “District Z.”
A new report published by U.K. creative industry workers’ union Bectu, which has more than 40,000 members, has called for the formation of an independent body to tackle racism in the broadcasting industry.
The “Race to Be Heard: Racism Reporting Body for U.K. Broadcasting Sector” report, commissioned by Bectu and written and researched by producer and academic Marcus Ryder, follows the powerful MacTaggart lecture delivered by David Olusoga at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August that laid bare racism in U.K. broadcasting.
The report recommends the establishment of an industry-wide reporting and complaints organization with the power to initiate investigations of systemic racism, and the capacity to provide advice and assistance to victims of racism. The body should also publish an annual report on the state of racism in the industry, complete with policy suggestions for industry stakeholders on how to tackle racism, the report recommends.
AMC Studios Content Distribution has sold rights to anthology series “Soulmates” to Amazon Prime Video for Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Europe, excluding Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra.
The series is set 15 years in the future, where science has discovered a test that tells you who your soulmate is. Each episode features a different cast and explores an entirely new story around discovering the results of this new test and the impact of those results on relationships.
Creators and executive producers are Will Bridges (“Black Mirror”) and Brett Goldstein (“Superbob”) and the cast includes Sarah Snook (“Succession”), Charlie Heaton (“Stranger Things”), Malin Akerman (“Billions”) and Kingsley Ben-Adir (“One Night in Miami”).
The series bowed in October, and a second season has been commissioned.
Former Disney India head Ronnie Screwvala‘s RSVP (“Uri: The Surgical Strike”) and Premnath Rajagopalan’s Blue Monkey Films (“A Thursday”) will co-produce “DhyanChand,” a biopic of Indian field hockey legend Dhyan Chand, to be directed by Abhishek Chaubey (“Sonchiriya”).
Dhyan Chand played on the Indian hockey team from 1925 to 1949, scoring more than 1500 goals his international career, which includes three Olympic gold medal wins in 1928,1932 and 1936. His birth anniversary on Aug. 29 is celebrated as India’s National Sports Day.
Written by Chaubey and Supratik Sen (“Kaminey”), the film will commence principal photography in 2021.
U.K. broadcaster ITV has ordered a new season of game show “Family Fortunes,” from Thames, part of the Fremantle group.
The series first ran on ITV from 1980-2002 and was revived in 2020, hosted by Gino D’Acampo. The revival saw an audience average of four million. The format sees two families go head to head as they try to name the most popular answer to survey-based questions posed to 100 people, for a chance to win £30,000 ($40,105).
The new season will have 20 episodes.
The series was commissioned by Katie Rawcliffe, ITV’s head of entertainment commissioning and commissioning editor Joe Mace. The series will be executive produced by Ash Whitehouse for Thames.
Gameshow “District Z,” produced by Satisfaction and distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Television, launched on TF1 in France last week to encouraging numbers.
The premiere of “District Z” averaged 5.4 million total viewers, 26% overall share and a 47% share on the key demographic of 25-49 across a 2.5 hour slot from 9:15 pm. This was ahead of TF1’s Friday prime time slot average viewing share in the 25-49 demographic by 38%.
The launch was the best one for the demographic for a French unscripted entertainment format for 27 years, according to TF1.
The show, which takes place in a set as big as 14 soccer fields, sees five celebrities undertake a series of physical and mental challenges, while facing zombies and other creatures controlled by the mysterious Professor Z, in order to reach treasure kept in a secret vault.